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Using Daily Payment Processor Data to Determine Existence and Length of Retail Shopping Event Effects

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Working Paper Number ADEP-WP-012020-03

Abstract

The Super Bowl is viewed as a major retail shopping event that can lead shoppers to increase their spending. The Super Bowl is played annually and has consistently been held on the first Sunday in February since 2004. This means that the Super Bowl’s impact—if one exists—can differentially affect January and February retail sales depending on its date in a particular year, meeting the definition of a moving holiday for seasonal adjustment purposes. Identifying if these effects actually exist and the length of their impact is somewhat hard to do with monthly retail survey data. This paper makes use of daily aggregated payment processor data and modeling to test for Super Bowl effects in various types of retail business (e.g., grocery, electronics, clothing, etc.) and attempts to identify the length of the effects for each type of business (e.g. how many days before and after the holiday itself).

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